By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,179)
Live from Brooklyn, New York at Barclays Center
Aired March 25, 2022 on Fox
[Hour One] A video package aired that recapped the attack on The Bloodline by Brock Lesnar last week, and Brock Lesnar’s promo where he said he was coming for blood…
In the arena, Michael Cole, who was joined on commentary by Pat McAfee, said both Lesnar and Reigns are in the building. Brock was shown waiting outside Roman’s locker room. Kayla Braxton walked up and asked Brock if he had thought about the consequences of his actions last week.
Lesnar said he had paid fines and bought a blood red SUV to replace the one he destroyed last week. He then said he was told he couldn’t touch Roman unless he was provoked. Brock then said he planned on hanging out in Roman’s locker room until it was time for a good provoking. He walked into the locker room and ate some food, and then broke the table he was using for a footrest on purpose…
Cole and McAfee said Shinsuke Nakamura would face Jimmy Uso next. Rick Boogs played some guitar and made introductions, and Nakamura made his entrance. A video package aired of their previous confrontations from previous weeks that set up their Title Match at WrestleMania. He was followed by Jimmy Uso. The teams brawled before the match could take place, with Boogs press slamming Jey Uso and tossing him into Jimmy…[c]
My Take: The pace of the show seems pretty relaxed so far. A couple of video packages, a short promo, and some entrances took up 11 minutes of TV time.
1. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) vs. Jimmy Uso (w/Jey Uso): The match started out slowly, with both men jockeying for position and working through some holds. Nakamura taunted Jimmy, who charged at him. He took him down and dropped a knee before choking him with a foot in the corner. The action spilled outside, where Nakamura landed a knee strike with Jimmy perched on the apron.
Back inside, Jimmy returned fire with a back suplex and covered for a two count. He then applied a rear chinlock. A moment later, with Nakamura on the apron, Jimmy landed a kick that sent Nakamura to the floor. He then set up for a splash, but Nakamura caught him with a head kick as he went through the ropes to take control…[c]
The action went back and forth after the break. Nakamura took control and set up for Kinshasa, but Jey caused a distraction by taking out Boogs on the floor. Jimmy landed a superkick for a near fall. Boogs sent Jey into the ring post, which allowed Nakamura to recover and land Kinshasa for the win.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jimmy Uso at 8:48
Cole and McAfee brought up Steve Austin’s return at WrestleMania, and introduced a video of the very entertaining Kevin Owens segment from Monday’s Raw. The KO Show was announced for WrestleMania Saturday, but that will probably change three times before the show…
Backstage, Lesnar was throwing champagne bottles around Roman’s locker room and eating his grapes…[c]
My Take: A decent match to start the show. They left a lot in the tank for WrestleMania, as they should. Shining up the babyfaces makes sense here, otherwise there’s no reason to take them seriously as challengers.
Cole and McAfee plugged the WWE Hall of Fame, headlined by The Undertaker’s induction by Vince McMahon. They also named Shad Gaspard as the 2022 recipient of the Warrior Award…
Backstage, Kayla Braxton interviewed Drew McIntyre. She asked him about his match with the undefeated Happy Corbin. Drew said this match was personal, because Corbin tried to end his career, but he was unsuccessful. He said he relished the opportunity to make his life miserable since his return from injury.
Drew said he could take him out at any time, but he wants to savor it on the Grandest Stage of them All at WrestleMania. He said he’ll wipe the smug smile off his face permanently. We then got a video package that recapped the transition from bum ass Baron Corbin to Happy Corbin. It also got into the recent antics of Mad Cap Moss and Baron Corbin, including the injury at Day One to Drew McIntyre…
Elsewhere backstage, Corbin said his life was an inspiration, and that a movie trilogy should be made about it. He said he would embarrass him at WrestleMania Saturday, and he could win an award for Happiest Man in a Leading Role after he ends his career at WrestleMania. Moss told a terrible joke about the movie, and Corbin didn’t find it funny at all…
In the arena, Sheamus made his entrance with Ridge Holland and Butch. Holland will face Kofi Kingston next…[c]
My Take: Are you a fan of video packages? If so, tonight is your night.
Video was shown of Ridge Holland and Kofi’s match from last week, where a distraction resulted in Kofi taking a loss. Kofi then made his entrance. The ring announcer made the mistake of announcing he was being accompanied by Xavier Woods. Kofi grabbed a microphone and said when they said he’d have a match with a member of the New Day, he didn’t mean himself, he meant him. Xavier Woods then made his entrance to his King Woods music, but the surprise was ruined…
2. Ridge Holland (w/Sheamus, Butch) vs. Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston): Early on Woods used his speed to avoid Holland’s power. Ridge landed a chop block, and Sheamus got fired up. Holland was then surprised with a rollup by Woods for a quick victory.
Xavier Woods defeated Ridge Holland at 0:46
Woods got out before Sheamus and Butch could intervene.
[Hour Two] A message from Roman Reigns aired, and he said he was stopping at a Steakhouse and MSG before dropping by Barclay’s Center. He told Brock to clear out of his locker room before he got there, or he’d crack his skull open when he got there. Cole asked if that would be considered a provocation. Ronda Rousey made her entrance in the arena in street clothes…[c]
My Take: I’m guessing a tag match between New Day and two of the Peaky Blinders will be added to WrestleMania.
A video package aired that recapped the past few weeks of activity in the feud between Charlotte and Ronda Rousey…
Ronda told Charlotte that she wasn’t going to take her title at WrestleMania, because after she taps out she’s going to give it to her. She said she could call her the Smackdown Champion after WrestleMania, and then demanded she leave her heels and excuses in the back and get her barbie ass to the ring.
Charlotte Flair showed up on the screen and said she wasn’t in Brooklyn. She told Ronda that she’s the challenger and she’s not at her beck and call. She asked if she really thought she would show up in such a low rent city with her Championship before WrestleMania. Ronda recalled breaking her first arm when she was 14, and said she liked it so much she started counting, and then she lost count.
Charlotte responded that she’s run out of ways to hurt Ronda, and if she was in Brooklyn she’d have to throw her off the bridge to get any satisfaction. Ronda then replied that if Charlotte defeated her at WrestleMania, it would be the biggest moment of her career. But when she beats her at WrestleMania, it will just be another one of the arms she lost count of. Ronda left and Charlotte disappeared from the screen…
Backstage, Kayla interviewed Brock in Roman’s locker room and asked him if he was going to leave. He told her to find Roman and tell him to hurry up, because he was running out of things in the room to break…
In the arena, Ricochet made his entrance. Los Lotharios then made their entrances, and they gave a plant a kiss near the ring steps. Humberto will face Ricochet next…[c]
My Take: Charlotte continues to play her role well, but Ronda is like a charisma gravity well and sucks all the energy out of her promo segments. The plant who Humberto and Angel were supposed to kiss missed her cue, and so it took her an extra few seconds to show up at ringside. Angel and Humberto looked confused for a moment.
3. Intercontinental Champion Ricochet vs. Angel (w/Humberto) in a non-title match: Apparently the WWE graphics department goofed, because Angel is actually in the match instead of Humberto. He jumped on offense early in the match and landed some grounded strikes on Ricochet. After a strike in the corner, Angel made an arrogant cover for a two count. Ricochet quickly got to his feet and sent Angel into the corner. He then landed a spear and a knee strike before landing a springboard forearm strike.
Humberto provided a distraction on the apron, which led to Angel rolling up Ricochet and getting a quick win.
Angel defeated Ricochet at 2:10 in a non-title match
After the match, Ricochet grabbed a microphone and demanded Humberto get his ass in the ring and take the L that his cousin was about to get. Humberto returned to the ring and accepted the challenge..
4. Intercontinental Champion Ricochet vs. Humberto (w/Angel) in a non-title match: Ricochet landed a head scissors and a dropkick that sent Humberto to the floor. Humberto regrouped on the floor, but was quickly drop kicked back to the floor. Ricochet then dove on Humberto at ringside…[c]
My Take: WWE is all out of sorts tonight. They got the match order wrong here, and Samantha Irvin goofed and gave up the Xavier Woods surprise earlier.
Ricochet pulled Humberto off the top with a head scissors, and then charged the corner and landed an elbow strike. He continued the offense with a springboard moonsault, and set up for his finisher. Angel caused a distraction, and Humberto rolled up Ricochet for a near fall. Ricochet responded with a series of vertical suplexes. He then went to the top rope, but Angel pulled Humberto out to the floor.
Ricochet dove on Angel, and then gave Humberto a Tornado DDT. Angel slid under the ring during the DDT, and prevented Ricochet from beating the ten count for a count out victory.
Humberto defeated Ricochet at 7:18 in a non-title match
Angel emerged from the ring and celebrated with Humberto. They both cheesed for the camera…
Sami Zayn was interviewed backstage. He said he was laughing at the idea that Knoxville stands a chance at WrestleMania, especially in an anything goes match. He said he might have his pranks and his Jackass Stunts, but they only work on his stupid Jackass buddies. He promised Johnny Knoxville that he would experience punishment in the ring that has never ever been seen before…
Michael Cole was going over the WrestleMania card. Austin Theory slapped the headset off of Pat McAfee from off screen. McAfee chased Theory chased him to the back. Theory entered Mr. McMahons office and locked the door…
Sasha Banks made her entrance with Naomi in the arena. She’s in a Fatal Four Way with Rhea Rhipley, Zelina Vega, and Shayna Baszler next…[c]
My Take: Ricochet and the Lotharios work well together. I guess we’re getting a Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Title? I’m not sure if they are padding out the WrestleMania card, or if this will take place on Smackdown.
Zelina Vega, and Shayna Baszler were in the ring, accompanied by Carmella and Natalya. Rhea Ripley got a televised ring entrance.
5. Rhea Ripley (w/Liv Morgan) vs. Shayna Baszler (w/Natalya) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Naomi) vs. Queen Zelina (w/Carmella): Baszler and Zelina took a powder immediately, leaving Banks and Ripley to wrestle one on one. Banks got an early advantage, and Baszler tried to bum rush her to no success. Banks then landed a bulldog on Ripley. Vega then pulled Banks to the floor. The match broke down immediately and a brawl broke out between all eight women…[c]
All the extras were kicked out. Ripley applied a figure four on Banks using her arms, and Baszler kicked Banks in the face as she was swinging in the air. Vega ran in and tried to cover everybody that was down on the mat, and got nowhere. Banks managed to take down Baszler and Vega and place both in the Bank Statement simultaneously. Ripley broke up the submission.
Sasha sold some knee pain after going back and forth with Baszler. Rhea took out Baszler on the floor with a dive. Vega then sent Rhea into the barricade with a flying head scissors. Banks then applied the Bank Statement to Vega and got the submission.
Sasha Banks defeated Shayna Baszler, Rhea Ripley, and Zelina Vega at 8:43
Backstage, Roman Reigns arrived at the arena. Heyman said he didn’t feel well. Roman said they’ll be fine, but Brock won’t be…[c]
My Take: Shayna Baszler caught a dive from Rhea Ripley on the floor, and looked to hit her head pretty hard on the floor. I hope she’s ok. The match was fine for what it was, but the Women’s Tag feud feels a bit cold. I’m sure the match will be good but the story is missing any serious character development or storytelling.
The Undertaker is driving the pace car at a Nascar event in Austin, TX this weekend, if you’re into that…
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will take place next Friday on Smackdown. There will also be a Triple Threat Intercontinental Championship match on that show as well with Ricochet vs. Angel vs. Humberto…
Cole and McAfee then ran down the WrestleMania card highlights from Night One…
Roman Reigns made his entrance with Paul Heyman, and while he walked to the ring Cole and McAfee ran down the Night Two WrestleMania lineup. The crowd have a strong mixed reaction as Roman stood in the ring. The reaction carried over to when he asked Brooklyn to acknowledge him. He asked Heyman if Brock was still in his locker room. Heyman acted terrified and said all he knows is that he’s in Brooklyn at the same time as Roman and he thinks that’s a bad thing.
Video was shown of Roman’s destroyed locker room, but no Lesnar. The crowd chanted suplex city. Roman shouted that this isn’t suplex city, it’s the island of relevancy. Elsewhere backstage, Lesnar destroyed the windows in Roman’s Chevy Suburban with a pickaxe. Roman yelled that no weapons were allowed at WrestleMania dummy. Lesnar smashed the pickaxe into the hood a few times, and then Brock headed to the ring.
Lesnar walked to the ring through the crowd and stood on the announce table. Roman looked concerned in the ring. Brock grabbed a chair, and security surrounded the announce table. Brock beat the hell out of the security guards with the chair. The Usos appeared and Reigns bailed out of the ring. Brock beat more security guards with the chair. He then grabbed a fresh chair and hit another guard. He then stood on the announce table with the chair and WWE Title. Roman appeared on the Tron and said Brock would acknowledge him as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at WrestleMania.
Lesnar smiled and laughed to close the show.
My Take: It makes sense to avoid too much physicality between Lesnar and Reigns here. It’ll be interesting to see if they have a physical confrontation on Monday, or if they just tease it again. The crowd was pretty hot for Lesnar’s attack and the walk through the crowd. I do wish the trash talk was a bit more personal and disrespectful here, but they haven’t gone down that road.